Their education continues: There was a teacher’s strike last year that closed down the schools for nearly two months and the teachers got almost no concession from the government. They were very bitter and extremely demoralized at the end of the year when I arrived.
Everyone was worried about the impact on the students and feared there would be a very low pass rate for students which would prevent them from moving to the next level of education, which is only available to students who can master 40% of all materials taught in secondary school (equivalent to 8,9, and 10th grade). My school did very well passing 79% of the students, which was the second best in the district).
I was extremely happy to hear the headmaster at my school tell the teachers they can only use corporal punishment as allowed under the law. He told them any other contact could be considered an assault and the police may have to be called. He asked the teachers to consider what they would do if their own children were assaulted in a school by a teacher. He told them when they hit children in anger they are being vindictive and not educating the children. I was so happy to hear him talk like that!
The teachers continued to insist the children were bad and needed to be “disciplined” considerably more than what is currently being dished out – but the administrators remained focused on being educators as well as decent human beings!!!
Empower Parents: The next day was freshman orientation. The guidance counselor had been trying to get a parent to talk to all the parents (who attend orientation with their child) about HIV/AIDS and general life skills. No parent would speak about the subject. So I did.
Even though no one asked for help that day, I felt very good about this little speech. I feel good about the administrators and I am looking so forward to school starting!
We took a 10 mile hike the other day and found a few fun things:
We stopped to get some extra juice at one of the usually unspeakably hot, with concrete walls and picnic benches filled with a bunch of obnoxiously drunk people who demand money for drinks when we decided we were going to extend our hike. (Iusually stand at the road and make John go get the juice. Sometimes even he won’t go in and we go thirty). It is funny how these places are just everywhere and in the middle of nowhere. To our surprise we found a place that had some decorations, and some design to it. Also there were no people here – not sure why because these places are usually packed to the gills with people overflowing from the building to the road. Maybe because the business had such a different look – or maybe it was new. Anyway, we decided to stay for a few minutes since it was so nice.
Yes, those chairs are made of rocks and concrete – not so comfortable, but the surest thing we have seen to an attempt as pleasing aesthetic.
We got to see another awesome sunset on our way back home
I had to wake John up from his Saturday morning snooze when he got a very happy surprise phone call from Aaron, Dave and Tom. He had to take out his earplugs, take off his eye mask and get out from under the mosquito netting. But he was awful happy to get a call from back home!